NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Back to results
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ861583
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9630
Increased Waking Salivary Cortisol and Depression Risk in Preschoolers: The Role of Maternal History of Melancholic Depression and Early Child Temperament
Dougherty, Lea R.; Klein, Daniel N.; Olino, Thomas M.; Dyson, Margaret; Rose, Suzanne
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, v50 n12 p1495-1503 Dec 2009
Background: Elevated morning cortisol is a prospective predictor of major depression and may serve as a vulnerability marker. We examined the relation between morning cortisol and two prominent risk factors for depression in preschool-aged children: maternal depression and child temperament. We also explored whether maternal depression during the child's life, parental hostility and life stress explained these associations. Methods: Ninety-four children provided a morning salivary cortisol sample, and 92 children provided an evening sample. Child temperament and parenting were assessed using observational measures, and maternal depression and life stress were assessed with clinical interviews. Results: Maternal history of melancholic depression and child temperamental low positive emotionality were significantly associated with higher morning cortisol. These relations persisted after controlling for children's negative emotionality and concurrent depressive symptoms, parental hostility, and life stress. Conclusions: Our findings support the hypothesis that elevated morning cortisol may serve as an early-emerging vulnerability factor for depression, and highlight the importance of anhedonia in risk for depression.
Wiley-Blackwell. 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148. Tel: 800-835-6770; Tel: 781-388-8598; Fax: 781-388-8232; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A